AN MP has slammed the Government for "ignoring the evidence" after figures showed a rise in the number of collisions at an accident blackspot on the M56 neasr Runcorn

Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders - who has long campaigned for road safety improvements between junctions 12 and 14 on the M56 - asked the Department of Transport to provide figures for the number of reported road accidents where people suffered personal injury, and the severity of the injuries sustained, over the last five years.

The figures revealed accidents on that stretch of the M56 between Chester and Runcorn resulted in three fatalities, 17 serious injuries and 109 slight injuries in the five years from January 2014, with there being an increase in total incidents from 2017 to 2018, the last year for which records are available.

Mr Madders said the fact that someone was injured on the M56 an equivalent of each fortnight was "unacceptable".

As well as the effect the injuries and fatalities had on victims and their families, many of the incidents had led to the complete or partial closure of the main link road, leaving the surrounding road network unable to cope with the sheer volume of traffic and regularly causing misery for thousands of local residents, businesses and commuters.

In particular, the villages of Elton and Ince have faced gridlock as vehicles left the motorway to avoid the accidents.

Mr Madders said: “Local people regularly raise their concerns about this stretch of road with me and these figures show they are right to be concerned.

"I’ve been calling on the Government to bring forward safety improvements to this stretch of road since the launch of the ‘Fix the M56’ campaign back in 2015.

"At that time, we were told no action would be taken to improve this section of the M56 until 2021 at the earliest.

"Given that figures show there were 22 accidents resulting in personal injury last year, a rate equivalent to someone sustaining an injury nearly once a fortnight, that is completely unacceptable.

"The number of accidents has increased, and they cannot keep ignoring the evidence that urgent action is needed to make the network safer.

"I shall be writing to the Minister asking them to look at this again!”